Optimal preparation for the World Cup in soccer

Clin Sports Med. 1998 Oct;17(4):697-709, vi. doi: 10.1016/s0278-5919(05)70112-5.


In preparing for the World Cup in soccer, the players should recover in the first period after their club season. It is, however, important that they try to maintain their endurance capacity by frequently performing aerobic low-intensity exercise in order to be prepared for the rebuilding period starting about 5 weeks before the World Cup. During the rebuilding period, mainly aerobic high-intensity exercise, but also various types of anaerobic training, should be performed. At the onset of the tournament, the amount of fitness training can be reduced for the players who regularly play on the team; however, frequent sessions with aerobic high-intensity training are recommended. The training plan should take into account the need of each individual player. Players who do not regularly play on the team should follow an extensive fitness training program throughout all periods.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Soccer* / physiology